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When you should workout after getting COVID-19

“Currently, for the recreational athlete, they recommend you are symptom-free for about two weeks after your infection."

Doctor David Perloff knows the ins and outs of cardiovascular health. He's the president of the Florida Chapter of the American College of Cardiology, and an avid exerciser himself--even serving on the board for Orangetheory Fitness.

He had to take a time out from those workouts when he tested positive for COVID-19. Perloff says, for him, the symptoms were rough.

 "I literally, I couldn't get out of bed for a week."

Even post-recovery, he said he knew he couldn’t get right back into his workout routine. According to the CDC, Perloff explains, “currently for the recreational athlete, they recommend you are symptom-free for about two weeks after your infection." 

Then, start slow and build your way back into a normal fitness schedule. Perloff says people should wait at least 10 days out from a positive test to get back to exercising, seven days out from any symptoms whatsoever, and start at about 50 percent of what your fitness level was before the virus. 

You can slowly increase your activity week to week. The important reason being, Perloff knows COVID-19 can have an impact on your cardiovascular system, that can lead to serious complications in up to 30 percent of cases, even despite the severity of someone’s symptoms. 

“we've found MRI instances of cardiac inflammation in people who are relatively asymptomatic," he explained. 

He encourages patients to pay attention to their body’s response, as you ease back into workouts from shortness of breath to heart palpitations and dizziness. He says, “when I started exercising, my heart would go very, very quickly and I'm in reasonable shape, so my heart rate normally would not go up so quickly." Easing back into your routine can save you from issues down the road. “The one thing you don't want to do, is to do something that could potentially have long-term implications."

But, it’s different when it comes to symptoms post COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Perloff explains, “there is no data whatsoever that exercising after the vaccine is harmful in any way."

 Even if you experience chills or body aches, he says that’s your immune system reacting to the vaccine. 

“If your body is really aching you and hurting you that bad, maybe take a day off. But again, if you feel compelled to exercise, I think you can feel confident that it's not going to harm you."

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